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Nov 29, 2023

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Art of Krzysztof Zanussi

Jadwgphoto_1-1Art when really understood is the province of every human being. It is simply a question of doing things, anything, well. It is not an outside, extra thing. When the artist is alive in any person, whatever his kind of work maybe, he becomes an inventive, searching, daring, self-expressing creature. He becomes interesting to other people. He disturbs, upsets, enlightens and he opens way for a better understanding. Where those who are not artists are trying to close the book, artist film director Krzysztof Zanussi opens it and shows there are still more pages possible.

In photo: Krzysztof Zanussi and Jadwiga Inglis

The world would stagnate without him, and the world is beautiful with him; for he is interesting to himself and he is interesting to others. For an artist to be interesting to us he must have been interesting to himself. He must have been capable of intense feeling and capable of profound contemplation.

He who has contemplated has met with himself, is in a state to see into the realities beyond the surfaces of his subject. Nature reveals to Mr. Zanussi, and seeing and feeling intensely, he creates picture and whether he wills it or not each move in his work is an exact record of such as he was at the exact moment the frame of his film was made.

Artist does not have to be a painter or sculptor to be an artist. He can work in any medium. Zanussi simply finds the gain in the work itself, not outside it. Zanussi’s art in film tends towards balance, order, judgment of relative values, the laws of growth, the economy of living—very good things for anyone to be interested in. Zanussi teaches us that the work of the art student is no light matter. Few have the courage and stamina to see it through. One has to make up his mind to be alone in many ways. We like sympathy and we like to be in company. It is easier than going it alone. But alone one gets acquainted with himself, grows up and on, not stopping with the crowd. It costs to do this. If one succeeds somewhat one may have to pay for it as well as enjoy it all his life.

Our guest film director reminds us to cherish our own emotions and never undervalue them. We are not here to do what has already been done. He has little interest in showing us in his art what he knows. He wishes to stimulate us to tell him what we know. In his office as an artist toward us he is simply trying to improve his and our own environment.

Krzysztof Zanussi knows what the old masters did. He knows how they composed their pictures, but he did not fall into the conventions they established. These conventions were right for them, and they are wonderful. They made their language. Zanussi made his own. They only helped him.

photoThe film maker Mr. Zanussi appeared more relaxed during this, his second visit in our Modjeska Art and Culture Club, which took place on May 3, 2014, in the beautiful residence of Mrs. Helena and Mr. Stanley Kolodziej in Beverly Hills. Also in attendance were Consul General Mr. Mariusz Brymora and his wife, Mrs. Brymora, Consul of Culture Ms. Malgorzata Cup and her husband Mr. Krzysztof Wojciechowski, actor Mr. Piotr Adamczyk, actress Ms. Veronica Rosatti, and composer Mr. Bartlomiej Gliniak.

In photo on right: Krzysztof Zanussi with directors and president of Helena Modrzejewska Art and Culture Club. 

Mr. Zanussi, relaxed sketch hunter has delightful days of drifting about among people, in and out of the city, going anywhere, everywhere, stopping as long as he likes—no need to reach any point, moving in any direction following the call of interests. I my opinion he moves through life as he finds it, not passing negligently the things he loves, but stopping to known them, and to note them down in the shorthand of his sketchbook or on his drawing pad. Like any hunter he hits or misses. He is looking for what he loves, he tries to capture it. It’s found anywhere, everywhere. Those who are not hunters do not see these things. The hunter is learning to see and to understand—to enjoy. There were memories of days of this sort, of wonderful driftings in and out of the crowd, of seeing and thinking. Where are the sketches that he made? Some of them are in dusty piles, some turned out to be good and they got frames, some became motives for big pictures, which were either better or worse than the sketches, but they, or rather the states of being and understanding he had at the time of doing them all, are sifting through and leaving their impress on Zanussi’s whole work and life.

It was a delightful evening full of anecdotes and laughs, celebrating Zanussi as artist, film maker, writer, and producer. Discussion was led by Mr. Andrzej Malewski. Piano was performed by 17 year-old Dominika Geier. Gift presentation from the club to Mr. Zanussi and flowers for the host was given by the club’s board of directors and the president of the club, Mr. Andrew Dowen.

Jadwiga Inglis Correspondent from Los Angeles